For OVG Real Estate, sustainability means using natural sources as cleverly as possible to offer buildings that are not only attractive, but also affordable, efficient, healthy and safe. Sustainability is therefore one of the three pillars which forms the basis of everything OVG Real Estate achieves.
OVG Real Estate’s sustainability story started in 2007. It was at the time that Al Gore woke up the world with his documentary An Inconvenient Truth while Bill Clinton with ‘his’ Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) intended to inspire world leaders to limit global warming.
OVG Real Estate quickly realised that also in the world of real estate and project development drastic changes were necessary: new development methods that take into account future scarcity of land, natural resources, energy, nature and clean air. Anything that becomes scarce will eventually become unaffordable. If we want buildings to be sensible and affordable for our end-users, the industry wasn’t doing a good job.
Since 2007, a lot has happened. Realising a great number of sustainable projects, we have shown to be the green motor in our sector. The one company that excels in sustainability, the one that finds the best green innovations for clients. During the last few years we have shown that sustainability can be implemented in various ways, yet all of them make a valuable contribution to the efficient use of natural resources.
Our greatest discovery was that innovation is not necessarily more expensive; buildings are becoming smarter therefore use less energy. Take a look at the TNT Centre, for example. A blueprint for sustainable and CO2-neutral construction at competitive prices. Or the multi-praised The Edge, at the Amsterdam ‘zuidas’: the most sustainable building in the world (according to the BREEAM label).
2 billion investment
In 2007 OVG Real Estate promised, within the CGI, to invest 1 billion Euro in sustainable real estate development over a period of five years. We took this promise very seriously and sustainability has been embedded in our working method. For this reason, the target was already reached in 2010 - two years ahead of schedule.
By the end of 2011 we renewed our promise and we committed ourselves to invest another billion Euro in sustainable (re-)development, also internationally.
An OVG Real Estate sustainable building complies with the independent guidelines of BREEAM-NL, LEED or DGNB. Using these certification instruments buildings are assessed against a great number of sustainability features. In new (re-)development for OVG Real Estate the absolute minimum is a BREEAM rating Very Good or equivalent. This way the OVG Real Estate buildings are always more sustainable than legislation and regulations require from us at the time.
BREEAM is an abbreviation of Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method and it is the most important and most commonly used sustainability certification for buildings. The building The Edge received the highest level Outstanding, including the highest percentage ever given for an office building.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a worldwide recognised system to determine the sustainability of buildings. It looks closely at spatial development, water saving schemes, material selection, indoor air quality and innovation. The TNT building was rated with the highest obtainable level: Platinum.
DGNB stands for Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen and it is the common German rating method for sustainability. DGNB exists of some 50 criteria. There are different ratings: bronze, silver and gold and recently platinum was added. HumboldthafenEins in Berlin was the first building to receive a DNGB Platinum in 2015.
The world’s most sustainable office building
The Edge is an international example with the sustainability sector. Thanks to a unique design that was focused on the path of the sun, over 5,800 square metres of solar panels and the application of smart technology, provides the building with more energy than it consumes. On top of that the building was constructed with a deliberate choice of materials: all wood is FSC certified and 90 percent of the materials recyclable. The Edge received the highest BREEAM score ever: Outstanding. Scoring 98.36% it is the world’s most sustainable office building.
Het hoofdkantoor van TNT is een blauwdruk voor duurzame ontwikkeling en exploitatie. De hoge duurzaamheidscore van LEED Platinum en GreenCalc+ label A heeft het gebouw te danken aan de toepassing van hoogwaardige technologieën. Daarbij springt vooral de eigen, groene energiecentrale in het oog: de ‘Green Machine’. Deze wekt met behulp van onder meer een Warmt en Koude Opslag (WKO) en een bio-warmtekrachtkoppeling (Bio WKK) energie op. Niet alleen voor het TNT Centre zelf, ook voor omliggende gebouwen.
In Germany OVG Real Estate developed the building HumboldtHafenEins, the most sustainable building in Berlin. Based on the so-called ‘trias ecologica’ all details of the project were subjected to scrutiny in order to make the ecological footprint as small as possible: materials, technology and use of energy. The building has a cogeneration plant and a vent system that recycles the heat, which contribute to efficient use of energy. Not surprisingly the building was rewarded with the highest certification possible: DNGB Gold.
Eneco's green light
Eneco’s mission is to provide The Netherlands with 100 percent sustainable energy in 2030. Such an ambitious objective requires setting a shining example. OVG Real Estate developed a sustainable building that on the outside is remarkable for its ‘vegetation facade’, which ensures proper insulation and at the same time purifies the air. In addition there are numerous clever applications, such as an underground heat/cold storage and the first suntrackers on Dutch roofs.